Recently I've had a lot of free time and so I've been working on a lot more Gengo jobs. Honestly I really like the way the system has evolved, and now it's pretty convenient to take a job and get it all wrapped up. One thing there has been an abundance of is the DMM pornographic jobs, and I find them rather interesting to translate, so I have been taking on a lot of those. There are quite a number of terms that you can't simply translate, and thinking about the point of the writing, that is to sell pornography, it's a nice challenge to try and take the meaning as a whole and change it to fit a western audience. My thoughts are not reflected by one senior translator it seems, as the same one (I'm pretty sure it's the same one, as every review starts with something to the tune of "Again, the English is excellent, but...") has continually reviewed just these pornographic works and has continually given me scores of 1.4, 0.77, 0.95, and so on, saying things like "Also, terms like 「モップ洗い」「W潜望鏡」「兜泡せ」 ("mop job" "double periscope" "soapy helmet bumping") have been glossed over, and similar omissions abound. " I know my work isn't perfect, and in fact I would love to have some constructive criticism and am most appreciative when it comes, but most of what I see in these is that I didn't translate something word for word and so this particular senior translator doesn't approve. Looking from the customer's point of view, if I read "soapy helmet bumping" in an explanation for a porno I was about to buy, I don't know how much I would want to anymore. Either way, starting with "the English is fantastic" then giving me less than 1/10 seems a bit extreme.
These jobs are normally picked up in large groups, and this ST reviewed many from the same set, giving them all poor reviews. I haven't done other work in the DMM category recently, but unfortunately all the good reviews I have gotten from other jobs (and positive customer reviews, which apparently hold no weight) couldn't hold up against them, and so I opened my inbox this afternoon to find that my translator status has been revoked. Now I can't take gengo jobs at all, though I can take the test again in a couple of days and hope I don't get this same anonymous ST. I am just trying to figure out how I can best please this ST, as I am obviously not doing this, but translating it in the way they would like me to goes against what I consider good translation. What makes this worse is the fact that we have no say in the matter, so we can't try and talk it out and reach a conclusion as to what would work best for all parties. Maybe gengo could consider revising this somehow? Right now I feel that, as a normal translator, I am not being given a fair say in the matter, which is a shame because I think it hurts everyone in the end if others feel the same.
I'm sure I left out some points, but I'm rather irritated about this whole thing right now. I guess I'll spend the next few days relaxing and wondering about if I should try and get re-qualified, because if the same anonymous ST is going to be trying to stop me at every turn, it seems like it might not be a battle worth fighting, even if I do enjoy the variation in work.
First of all let me say that I am sorry to hear that your translator status has been revoked, and that I hope that you pass the test when you can take it again and regain your position.
As for the Senior Translator Reviews, we just happened to have a thread about it quite active the last couple of days, so giving it a read might help you understand what Gengo's position regarding the issue is. Here is the link.
You can also have a look at the Test Expectations and our Style Guide before retaking the test, just so have a clearer idea of what the reviewers will be looking for.
We have a review feedback form as well, that you can use to ask questions or send us feedback regarding job quality reviews that you disagree with (such as the ones you mention in your post). We can't guarantee that any changes will be made, but the form will be sent to the ST who performed the review, so this gives you a chance to voice your concerns - so you do have a say in the matter :)
You are also welcome to contact firstname.lastname@example.org directly anytime with any issues that may come up as(technical, or further questions regarding your status having been revoked, etc)
I hope this helps!
Sorry in advance for this long post— but as someone who has also done thousands of these jobs, this is really concerning. We have been told regularly on this project that we must translate for an English speaking audience. In other words, we have been asked to exercise judgement about what would be bewildering/off-putting/illegal (yes!) for a English speaking porn consumer. Here is a quote from the style guide for the DMM project:
Translate Culturally - Please do not translate literally; instead, try to think about the English-speaking audience who will be reading your translations. Feel free to get creative with your translations!
Databases of translated titles have also been provided with the implication that they are to serve as examples of “translating culturally”, and are full of these kinds of omissions and changes, many of them far more dramatic than what cooleyc3 has described doing. It seems incredibly unfair to specify this in the style guide and to provide these examples, but then to penalise someone who has attempted in good faith to follow them.
I hope I don’t come across as blaming the senior translator in question here, because I know their job is to look for these kinds of things. It’s hard to know without context how damaging the omissions in question were, but an argument could be made that glossing over certain non-essential and potentially confusing words is the exact right decision when localising a short video title, as could an argument against (personally, I probably would have included those terms.) Point being, people working on this project have been asked to judge case by case and will do so in different ways, so there should be some allowance for that in how these jobs are reviewed. Otherwise, it seems for our own “safety” we should be ignoring the style guide and translating with the assumption that we will be penalised for deviating even by a single word from the original title, as cooleyc3 has described. I suspect this would result in far more significant quality problems than the omission of a "soapy helmet bumping" here and there! Either way, it seems in light of this the expectations need to be made clear in a way that “feel free to get creative” isn’t.
If these ST's reviews were truly fair and valid, what about the customer? Were they just unlucky? What is the point of the style guide?
I can't help but think that giving a extremely low score require delicate handling. Because we are supposed to work together including the customers.
That's just my personal feeling, though.
Thank you for the support guys.
It is rather unnerving because what gengo says they want in this case is entirely inaccurate and I've been penalized for it. Doesn't look like there is much I can do to go about fixing it, but I hope the same doesn't happen to anyone else.
I'm getting back to you this time because I have some updates on the issue of the reviews you received and your demotion.
First things first, I'd like to apologize to you on behalf of the JA>EN ST team because of the confusion caused.
Your post and comments have been brought to the attention of the team and we are currently working on reviewing your specific case, and will be following up closely with you since we believe there has been a mistake on our side when judging your work.
We are sincerely sorry for the way the whole issue (reviews and the removal of your qualification) has been handled.
Also, I'd like to thank Rebecca and ikoeriha for their input, and to state that Rebecca is right when she talks about "translating culturally" and the style guide for the DMM jobs.
Yes, the style guide does, indeed, continue to apply. Keep in mind that some DMM descriptions may mention content that viewers expect to find in the video, so it is advisable to keep as much information in the text as possible. Omitting non-critical content may elicit a suggestion about fidelity from one of our STs, but it should not have affected cooleyc3's score the way it has. Again, we are deeply sorry for this.
We will be sure to keep you updated with any resolutions regarding your case :)
Please do not hesitate to write to us here again if you need to.
Thank you Lara, that means a lot.
Hopefully things work out, as I wouldn't mind working for gengo again!
I was just wondering if there have been any updates concerning my situation. I still have no translator status so I just wanted to check in. Thanks again.
As Lara is not available this week, I'll be taking over your case. I've gotten in touch with the Senior Translators in your pair to see if they have an update for you. If you don't hear from us within the next 3-4 days, please feel free to email us directly at email@example.com referencing this thread.
Thank you so much for your patience and your support in the meantime!
Thank you so much for your patience and my apologies for the initial miscommunication. Your qualifications at Standard level have been restored and you should regain access to jobs immediately.
If your run into any issues when trying to access jobs, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org referencing this thread.
Once again, thanks for your patience as we resolved this, and for your continued support!
Thank you very much for all your help Marina (and Lara too)!
Hello again Lara and Marina,
I'm glad this forum thread is still active, because I seem to be having the same problem again with a Senior Translator.
For the past while, I've been getting some pretty good scores (up until yesterday my last 5 reviews were a 10, 10, 5.37 (deservedly for missing something) 10, and a 10), but this morning I came online to again find two jobs from the latest set of video titles I translated reviewed and they received scores of 2.34 and 2.47. In the first he (or she?) says that I haven't put enough information into the title, yet says its a "moderately good translation", which I don't understand how "good" can be in the review yet to receive a score that horrible, and the other simply says I didn't focus on the right points. Were this a description I would understand a bit more, but for AV movie titles I think putting more than the 20 words I already have in there as a bit overkill. We're supposed to have freedom to translate liberally and think about our native audience, yet this reviewer has clearly punished me for not directly translating the Japanese. Having these two scores also dropped my rating from a 9.1 to a 6, so I would like to take care of this before my qualification is potentially revoked again.
Sorry for the hassle,
Thank you for getting back to us on this!
I am forwarding this thread to Megan, our new Community Manager (you may have seen her intro in our Free For All Forum!) so she can take over your case :)
Hope this is alright with you ;)
Of course! Thank you very much Lara.
Thanks for getting in touch with us! I will contact the ST in your language pair and see if they can provide some more information.
Thanks a bunch Megan!
Hi again cooleyc3,
I have some feedback from the ST and will email you now with it. Thanks for your patience.
I have a similar question. I recently had my pro and standard level qualifications revoked because of a job that a senior translator gave me a very very low score for. After reading more into he senior translators comments for the job I have learned from my mistakes and realize I was making a mistake. I have since rejoined Gengo, but my rating is under 6 due to that one job. Now if I make one silly mistake I could get my standard rating revoked again and the process starts over. As I passed the test 10.0 out of 10.0, no errors and no minor errors, surely this should be reflected in my rating somehow? This is just encouraging me to open up an account with another email address and start afresh.
We've looked into the situation and, if we understand it correctly, you've regained your qualifications and your rating is still 6 because of the one job you got reviewed *before* having your qualifications revoked. Is this the case?
If this is the case, please do not worry about your score - this is a bug that we're currently working to fix, as your score should update and reflect only the reviews received after you've regained your qualifications.
Thank you for your patience,